Auckland Green MP Keith Locke today said that Transit NZ was jumping the gun by announcing massive new spending before the government had revamped its transport funding strategy.
Transit today unveiled their Auckland State Highway Strategy which allocates $1 billion of spending for new roading projects in Auckland over the next 10 years.
“Somehow the government can afford $1 billion for new roads, while it turns a deaf ear the cry of Auckland local bodies for financial assistance to develop a suburban rail network,” said Mr Locke, who is the party’s spokesperson on Auckland transport issues.
“The government should ask Transit to defer its roading plans until it announces the new criteria for Transfund funding of transport. The Minister of Transport has stated that public transport infrastructural spending will be easier under the new criteria.
“Why blow $1 billion dollars now, when much of this money may be needed to solve Auckland’s public transport crisis. If we can get Aucklanders out of their cars, there won’t be the same need for new motorway spending.
“New motorways will quickly be used by a rapidly expanding Auckland population. Just as quickly they will become congested and the number of cars entering downtown Auckland will increase.
“The Green Party are opposed to the mentality of building more and more roads. We challenge the Government to face up to the challenge of building a sustainable public transport system, rather than burying our future under asphalt,” said Mr Locke.